There are places in the world that are perfect for cross-country competitions; with flat valleys, rivers, and space to place things to jump over.
But in Greece it’s not the same; valleys are all irrigated and the only thing that you’ve got available are windy countryside roads, beaches, slopes, gorges and forests!
So, if you love cross-country, you have to adapt to this environment and you won’t be asked! You will have to gallop across steep slopes and gorges, at risk of sticking your face on some olive tree or landing on an ancient rock! And don’t expect too much jumping. Try to keep your balance instead!
People who do this type of “cross-country” don’t take safety or style seriously. Forget about helmets, boots, breeches and body protectors. In most cases, the only equestrian accessory that you will see is the whip. And when I say whip, I don’t mean just “a smack on the butt for encouragement”. I mean, smacking the horse like crazy all the way along! Smacking and pulling so hard, that actually the horse goes off route! OK, this might touch the limits of animal cruelty, so I can’t be too proud of it, can I? -_-
Below you can watch a fun video from an amateur cross-country competition in Thrace: